Thursday, May 20, 2010

Post Long Run Meals

Today I am running my last long run (20k) before race day. So far I have been more than happy with the training. I have managed to get in 4 days a week of running and never missed any important training days such as speed, hill and long runs.
In my last post I talked about free radicals and the importance of getting high antioxidant foods in your diet to reduce their harmful effects. In this post I wanted to address the importance of the post long run meal.

Because the long run really depletes your muscles, for optimal recovery it is essential to replenish your muscles post run. A combination of both carbohydrates and protein is recommended.
Scientific research has suggested that 3 to 19g of carbohydrates per kilogram of body weight, 1.2 to 2g of protein per kilogram of body weight and 0.8 to 3 grams of fat per kilogram of body weight are good ranges for endurance athletes. The ranges vary because so does one’s training regime, as your mileage increases so do the body's needs.

In addition to getting a good combination of carbohydrates, protein and fat and choosing foods which are rich in antioxidants, choosing foods that contain omega-3 is also good. Running creates an inflammatory response to your muscles and joints. To reduce inflammation it is beneficial to eat omega-3 polyunsaturated fat. Omega-3 can be found in salmon, walnuts and flaxseed oil.
Consuming a post meal 30 minutes after endurance exercise is a key window to optimally replenish the muscles glycogen stores, which can enhance performance. Bread, rice, potatoes, pasta, fruits and vegetables are good carbohydrates to have post run to replenish depleted glycogen stores. Bananas and oranges are good to replenish electrolytes. Lean protein eating with carbohydrates help stimulate glycogen replacement and help repair damaged muscles.

My post run meals have varied over the years. My last 1/2 marathon I was addicted to my Mediterranean Pesto Pasta. This also makes a good pre-run meal (the night before a race or long run) and it is good cold or hot which makes it good if you are traveling for a race and have no place to cook up a good meal.

This year my post run meals have been heavily protein based. I seem to crave red meat a lot and a mouth watering thick grilled sirloin steak, baked potato with asparagus seems to satisfy me post run.

Here are some of my favorite post run meals:

Pasta & Pizza Recipes

Meat Sauce for Pasta

Grilled Mediterranean Pizza

Beef & Burger Recipes

Try topping the burgers with lettuce, tomato, avocado and pickles.

Beef Burgers

Turkey Burgers

Grainy Mustard Steak Kebabs

Sausage Stuffed Peppers

Salmon Recipes

Chicken Recipes

Vegetarian Recipes

Black Bean & Rice Stuffed Peppers

1 comment:

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